Last December, the Tebow CURE Hospital went viral online and was even featured during a segment on the local news! With the participation of staff from each floor, we held a Christmas decor contest. The rules: staff members could only use recycled materials to deck the halls. The local news caught wind of our unique Christmas celebration, and the coverage helped our Christmas spirit spill outside our doors and bring many a smile to members of our community.
This year, our halls are somewhat absent of the hustle and bustle that transformed last year’s floors into winter wonderlands and Christmas Eve fireplaces. Some of the staff still diligently decorated their work spaces, but it’s clear that nothing will top last year’s work.
For me, this December represents the culmination of this year’s theme verse, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds.” (James 1:2 ESV) As we entered this month, the floors were still filled with the hustle and bustle of our staff (who have been heavily occupied with large-volume clinics, busy complying with operational requirements, and attending numerous meetings to troubleshoot this and plan for that). This year, we have had to meet these said “trials of various kinds.” From challenges in adjusting to transitions to navigating relationships both inside and outside the hospital, it has not been a pain-free walk-in-the-park. At times, God’s molding and pruning came a costly price.
Tahimik. Mingaw. These words from the local language describe this year’s festivities. Both could be roughly translated as “quiet,” “melancholic.”
Despite this feeling of melancholy, in no way has the spirit of Christmas been diminished. In fact, I believe that through these “trials of various kinds,” the presence of Jesus Christ has never been so real at the Tebow CURE Hospital. After all, James 1:3 continues, “for you know the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
A few more days are leading up to this year’s Christmas. Some of the staff gather in corners for their weekly exchange of gifts, which started back in November. Others talk about the dance moves they practice after work hours in preparation for group presentations during the Christmas party. A few guide visitors who have come to share gifts with our patients in the ward.
Because of Christ, we close this year steadfast in our mandate amidst the solemnity of our celebration of His birth. Because of Christ, we continue to pour out our love to children and their families, to serve each other with integrity and intentionality, and to experience healing after brokenness. And with more of Christ, we stand testament to a God more powerful and relevant than any trending post or local news coverage.